ST. GEORGE — There will be an open house Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the live fire training building on Route 73 in St. George.

Construction began last fall on the building located in back of the town fire station at 274 Seal Harbor Road.

A news release states that “Fire Departments are having difficulty recruiting and retaining members. Training is one of the issues.”

“In the past, we used to have old buildings for live fire training. This is not happening because of environmental or safety issues. To get the required live fire training, fire departments are using training buildings designed to allow live fires. There are not a lot of these training facilities in the State of Maine. Fire departments in the Knox County area have been going to places like Ellsworth or Hollis for testing. The distance to these facilities makes it difficult for fire departments to get the needed training.”

The St. George Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Association took the lead in getting a live fire training building in Knox County, and after a few bumps in the road, the facility is complete. It is a state-of-the-art facility that is here to help train any and all firefighters in a live fire setting. The facility can serve one fire department at a time or it can serve area fire departments in a mutual aid scenario.

The plan is to work with the Knox County Mutual Aid Association in the operation of the facility.

“We would like very much to raise the funds to pay off the loans within the next five years, if not sooner. To have the operating expenses of the facility paid for by the users of the facility.”